Senior Chief Mlonyeni of Mchinji has warned men who sleep with girls, saying they will face the law if caught.
He said this on Wednesday during the graduation of 50 girls who completed lessons on adolescent girls’ curriculum on health and nutrition conducted by Feed the Children through Tiwalere II Project.
The chief alleged that some men were enticing girls with money.
“Sleeping with girls will kill their future because they can become pregnant and drop out of school or contract sexually transmitted infections such as HIV,” said Mlonyeni.
He asked his fellow traditional leaders to encourage their subjects to protect girls from abuse.
On his part, Feed the Children Central Zone manager Mark Liwonde said the 50 trainees represented 745 girls who graduated from the district.
He said: “The project seeks to improve adolescent girls’ nutrition status.
“We have also trained them in hygiene and sanitation as well as giving them motivational talks on how they can complete their education.”
A trainee Milca Yonasi said the programme has helped her return to school.
“I dropped out in Standard Seven, but I am now in Standard Eight,” she said.
Yonasi also said they learned how to prepare nutritious meals using locally available resources.
“The lessons also included topics on sexual and reproductive health issues,” she said.
With funding from the United States Agency for International Development, the project also seeks to improve the nutritional status of pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and under-five children.